The Worst Advice Ever About Software


Hello business-savvy folks, I'm here to share with you on the most egregious and misguided advice about software development that I've come across over the years. As an industry expert, it’s my pleasure and I think it’s about time to call out these painful absurdities. After all, why should anyone pay repeatedly for the price of stupidity?  Learning from the mistakes of other is one of life’s great pleasure. Keep reading and get ready to laugh (or cry)!

"Move Fast and Break Things"

Popularized by one of the greatest tech entrepreneurs of our time, this is Facebook’s (or Meta now) Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s famous motto. At first glance, this statement makes a lot of sense. A business needs to move quickly otherwise they would get left in the dust by their competitors. What he’s trying to say is: If nothing is breaking, your business ain’t moving fast enough!

But… this may sound harsh. More often than not, folks lean on this statement as a terrible excuse for low quality. Mark didn’t say “build poor software fast”.

There can be two truths 1. we move fast and 2. we do not break things. There are business processes, rest assured, where we absolutely do not want to break. E.g. customer order cart checkout, payment processing, order fulfillment. Ask yourselves: can your business afford to have its processes breaking down due to lousy software? Don’t fall for it!

"Just Use Off-the-Shelf Software / Custom Software"

Another (actually, two) terrible piece of advice is to 1. simply use off-the-shelf software or 2. go full custom altogether. But I must clarify here. The advice itself is not the problem. It is terrible ONLY if the advice dispenser did not listen or understand your pains / problems before shouting “Just do this!”

Just imagine visiting a doctor when you are sick and they prescribed you medication without checking your tempature or heartrate. Wouldn’t you panic? I definitely would.

Off-the-shelf software is designed to cater to the needs of a broad audience whereas custom software development allows you to tailor your software to your specific needs.

Whichever path should be deemed more suitable depending on your critical needs (specific business requirements) along with available existing off-the-shelf options.

Doing upfront work in the form of research and discovery solves this dilemma. Sometimes, the best solution could be a mixture of both!

The conclusion here is: don’t accept a prescription without a diagnosis check.

"Don't Worry About X i.e. Cost / Security / User Experience / Maintenance"

The final piece of terrible advice is to ignore concerns. Whether it’s related to security, user experience or maintenance.

Security is crucial in software development. It's like having a lock on your front door – you want to make sure it's secure so that your valuables are safe. In the world of software, security breaches can be devastating, so it's essential to prioritize it.

Why is user experience essential in software development? It's like having a comfortable chair – you want to make sure it's comfortable so that you can sit back and relax. In the world of software, user experience can make or break the success of your product. This is like saying, "Hey, I know my software is going to be used by millions of people, but I'll just make it as complicated as possible so that they'll have to figure it out."

Maintenance is also important for software. It's like having a car – you want to make sure it's well-maintained so that it runs smoothly and efficiently. Maintenance is essential to ensure that your product remains relevant and effective.

In conclusion, these pieces of terrible advice to ignore concerns can be a recipe for future disaster. Software development can be complicated & messy. Winging it and hoping for the best is literally the worst approach. By addressing key concerns, you'll be well on your way to creating a software product that is both effective and efficient.


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